Art, Shadows, and Light in the Darkness...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Virtue Adrift

Finally after much hubbub and delay (all related to my BIG NEWS of course), I can show how VIRTUE/ADRIFT turned out.


I complimented the main pendent part of the piece with a annealed stainless steel chain that has been accented with an antique brass keyhole and and Art Deco gemstone glass button. The clasp for the piece is made from a pair of antique sewing scissors. I will not even begin to take credit for the originality of that idea; the first person I ever saw use it was Keith Lo Bue, and I thought it was a wonderful way to create a practical clasp with an unexpected object. You can see more of Keith’s fabulous work at:


Hopefully from the close-up you can see some of the weathering I have done; I am a big believer that patinas should match in a piece- it gives a piece a much more professional finished look.



As with all of my jewelry, I wanted this to be a practical piece that could actually be worn, and while I wouldn’t necessarily say that it is an “everyday” piece of wear and tear jewelry, it would be great for those times when you’re looking to make a statement. Subtle it isn’t.

This piece, along with 250 regrets, The Evening Star, and several others will probably go live on Etsy in the next day or two (unless my BIG NEWS slows things- nope, I still can’t tell you what it is yet…). I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as these are up.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Upcoming Shows

So, I finally have information on a partial list of the Festival/Shows I will be doing this year-these are the spring shows. If you happen to be local to any of these, I'd love to meet you!

Art Walk- Durham, NC April 18, 19 2009


A Great 2-day event where you can meet about 200 different artists and craftspeople on a wonderful walking studio tour.


The Handmade Market- Raleigh, NC May 3, 2009


A dynamite show which features around 50 local artists and designers showing the best in regional art, jewelry, clothing and handmade accessories.


Artsplosure- Raleigh, NC May 16, 17 2009


A regional arts festival that attracts about 100,000 people annually. Features around 200 regional and national artists and craftspeople. An excellent show.


There are about 10 more shows I am applying to for the Summer and Fall including shows in Philadelphia, Chicago, Richmond, VA, as well as more here in North Carolina. I keep you updated on the details as I have them.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Adrift Part 3.

The next stage of this piece is now finished- in these photos, I have included both the before and after-and I have started the work on the chain, which I should have finished by the next post.


I have assembled all of the parts; paper has been collaged over the photo of the lady (after she was embedded in a layer of casting resin-I wanted there to be a little depth between her and the paper), and I have glued small silver micro beads along the outside to hide the paper’s edges. Over top of the book page I have spread a thin layer of “snow” glitter which is actually ground up mica flakes that are semi-transparent. I like that it helps to hide some of the wording, and gives the piece some nice sparkle.


This image looks essentially the same as the last one, except now another layer of resin has been poured to cover the beads, glitter, and paper, and I have also collaged the word “virtue” over the page. The text was taken from an old 19th century book. You can also see (a little better) the shadow which has been created along the edges of paper near the woman’s eyes- this comes from the paper being raised about a 1/16th of an inch above the photo thanks to the first layer of casting resin.


This last image shows the beginnings of the chain which I am making from annealed stainless steel. I plan to add some very special additions to this chain which I won’t give away just yet. You can see it completed in the next post.


The beginning of this piece can be found here.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Adrift Part 2.

Here are the next set of in progress images- I have to admit they are not much to look at- but I really do think that the piece will turn out quite nicely in the end.


I have trimmed and set the photo down into the tin, and the paper will eventually cover the image all over except for the eyes.


On the back I have attached the nameplate with copper rivets, and I have also attached two stainless steel loops for the chain. The glue around the loops will be removed once the resin has been poured on the inside.

By the time of the next post, the piece should be much further along, and I think it will make much more sense.

The beginning to this piece can be found here.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Here We Go Again

As promised, and because I am feeling slightly confident after finishing “The Evening Star”, I wanted to show you the parts of the newest piece I am beginning.


What is interesting is that this piece feels very different from the last. I can almost see it already finished, and I literally just picked out these elements about an hour ago. On the right, is an antique cabinet card of a lady with a great stare, in the middle, a small antique jelly mold or cake tin, and left, a page from a vintage Danish book dated 1932.

This will again be a neck piece, but visually, I believe it will end up being much lighter and more delicate than its polar opposite predecessor. I’ll keep you updated as we go along.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Evening Star

It is amazing how, as an artist, when I am working on a piece I come to realize that I am often working on both the conscious level and relative subconscious levels simultaneously. That can truly be said for this piece, “The Evening Star.”

The evening star as we know it most often refers to the planet Venus, which consequently is named after the roman goddess of love. Upon closer examination of this piece, I noticed that I was employing references to both without making a deliberate effort to do so.


The repetitive use of both the shape and the actual letter “V” not only helps to move the eye around the piece, but it also reinforces the piece’s name.



I noticed that the calendar piece I collaged into the bottom has the word, “Virgin” typed onto it, but the number “2″ is also clearly visible, and Venus is the 2nd planet from our sun.



If all parts of the piece are opened, the section that contains the words, “The Evening Star” is in the middle position or position 2 which again corresponds with Venus’s location in our solar system. I think the love references are fairly obvious with use of the photos.

It would be great if I could say that all of these elements were intentional, but they weren’t, and yet if they weren’t there, I don’t think the piece would be nearly as successful.

I did end up choosing to use the antique black glass beads in the chain along with stainless steel, and I think these two add a nice visual balance to the piece.

Oh well, its onto another starting tomorrow.


The beginning of this piece can be found here.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Walkthrough: Almost Finished

I'm nearing completion of this piece- it now has a name: "The Evening Star."

The first and second photos show the piece closed and open-



And here you can get a good detail view on the inside bottom and top-



I worked on the bottom much like the top, using black glass beads, and silver micro beads embedded under the resin, but I've also added very small pocket watch hands around the tintype. I also riveted a piece of weathered brass on top of the lid which I think looks much like the peephole windows on a (space) ship. In the last image, you can get a much better idea of how the micro beads are embedded. Next, its on to making the chain- I'm thinking of using these great black glass ring beads that I picked up this weekend at a flea market. We'll see.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Great Fleamarket Day

Every now and again, just maybe, you get lucky. Because I go to so many fleamarkets, I know that it doesn't happen often. But today was one of those days. Not only did I run into some great antiquing friends who I haven't seen in several years, but I found a lot of great items to use in my work, and great stuff that I will also be offering in my shop of vintage supplies.

Goodies, goodies, and more goodies-



Keep an eye peeled for things to begin going up sometime next week.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

250 Regrets: An Update

No, no, not things that I woulda, shoulda, coulda have done- I'm talking about the other neckpiece that I was working on. I finally finished it- you can see the results below.


The chain is actually annealed stainless steel, and those are hand-formed antique clear glass beads that I think are a nice compliment to the pandant.


This puppy will hit my Etsy shop in the not too distant future (say about a week), I'm going to list about 10 or 12 pieces all at the same time (this piece included), that way there will at least be a little to look at. I'll let you know when everything is up- should be about the same time as the new website.


Friday, March 6, 2009

A walkthrough part 3;

or progress, progress, progress; or resin is really fun stuff.


I'm continuing to move along with this piece at a pretty good pace (usually a good sign for me). The metal inner piece is now fastened over the man's face, and I've collaged "VOL. IV" inside behind the small lid (I just love old cotton press-type pages). Resin has been poured in the top half of the compact, and I don't know if you can tell, but I have embedded small silver microbeads across the surface, small black glass beads along the inside edge, and a carnival glass Art Deco gemstone near the man's eye. At certain angles, the microbeads catch the light just right and sparkle like small stars. I have also embedded a transparency of the orbit of the Earth over the man's face to further expand on the space, star, heavens theme.


Next, I started work on the bottom part; as you can see I've cut an opening into the lid, and I've collaged part of an old calendar and a tintype of a young lady into the bottom section.


Here is what that part will look like when in the bottom of the compact.

On the outside front of the case, I've riveted on a drawer pull ornament, and collaged an eye inside the opening. Around the ornament, I have added gold leaf to give some shine to the front of the piece, and I've started the "weathering" process on the whole of the outside.


Everything is continuing to come along nicely, by the next update, I should have the interior almost completely finished.

The beginnings of this piece can be found here.

The second part here.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

New Art on Etsy

Well, I just wouldn't be much of an artist or blogger if I didn't keep you up to date with ALL of the new art that I am doing- not just the jewelry. So, to that end, I would like to introduce you to two new pieces that are now making their first appearances on Etsy.


The first is called, "The Watchman"- it picks up right where my work left off at the end of last year- heading in a generally Steampunky Carnivalesque direction. Not sure how long this new direction will last, but with my life-long fascination with all things carnival, I doubt it will be ending anytime soon.


The second piece is called, "Dream of Flight." This is actually the second version of this piece, I did the first about 5 years when my Photoshoping skills were much more inept. I always felt like it was a good composition, and vowed that I would one day return to this piece when I had acquired more skill. This time around I'm particularly happy with the butterflies and their subtle shading, but as is often the case with Photoshop, I can still see plenty of flaws in this version, so there is always more to learn.

If you are interested in either of these pieces you can go here to find out more.


P.S. For those of you who do not yet know about Etsy- is a wonderful website for all things handmade. Go, go now, you'll love it- I promise.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A walkthrough Part 2.


As you can see, some progress has been made-the photo of the man has been fastened in, and I have collaged thin paper over his eyes; I also decided to turn him at an angle as if he is gazing upwards (I'm beginning to think this piece might have something to do with the stars, space, or the heavens). The inner piece has not yet been fastened over him, but I wanted to give you an idea of what it will look like.


I haven't worked any on the inside bottom part yet, what you are seeing are where the rivets are connecting pieces for the chain and signature plate on the backside.


I do now have the outside (front and back) covered with paper. I chose this great 19th century German book paper that dates from around 1850. It has been working its way into a number of projects as of late.


The last photo for today is a better look at the back. I have attached the rings which will hold the chain, and I have attached the signature plate. It does feel odd signing a piece before I am finished with it, but when building these jewelry pieces, necessity often dictates that I have to sometimes create a piece with the steps out of order.

If you would like to catch this piece from its beginning you can start here.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A walkthrough

I've started on this new piece (to go with the millions of others that are half-finished), and I thought it might be interesting to show to you how my thought process works as I'm making a new piece.


This is a vintage compact case from a local flea market which is about 3" in diameter, and a vintage cabinet card photo which has been cut to a round shape to fit on the upper inside panel of the case.


The other two parts fit into the compact in the upper and lower spaces, so the top piece will actually end up fitting over the photograph. As you can see, the outside of the compact is pretty rough, and I plan to cover it with some type of paper. As this will be a neck piece, I will also have to fashion some type of support on the back of the case that a chain can be fastened to. At this point, I haven't really thought any further ahead than the photograph of the man, and his placement in the case. I'll keep you updated as this piece progresses.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Are You Kidding Me?

Remember how I posted about a week ago, and showed the nice view out of my studio, while talking about how I couldn't wait for spring to get here? If not here's the post- anyway, here's the lovely view out of my window this morning.



Now granted, I like snow as much as the next person, but I like it on Dec. 25, or Jan. 18, not on March 2. The crazy thing is, it actually is supposed to be 70 degrees by this weekend, which brings up another good point. If it is going to snow here in the South (something that doesn't happen often enough in my opinion), couldn't it at least stick around for a few days? As I'm writing this in the late afternoon, the snow is already almost completely gone in the courtyard. Woohoo! Let's go make a muddy grassman!


Sunday, March 1, 2009

The sorting has begun

in earnest. Having neglected EandO for far too long we have finally begun to seriously sort and organize, and price things for listing.


For those of you who may not know, my wife and I have a vintage and antique supplies store we operate on Etsy called Ephemera and Object, or Eand O for short. We literally have 1000s of things to put up, and the process will officially begin tomorrow. The first offerings will be some vintage jewelry lots, some photos, and vintage book pages-plus whatever else I can grab within reach.


Happy hunting- if there is anything in particular you are looking for, just yell at me.